With spring break fast approaching and gas prices on the rise, Georgia’s state parks and historic sites offer plenty of ways for families to enjoy the outdoors for a fraction of the price without having to sacrifice a fraction of the pleasure. Spring Breakers are just a tank or less away from sleeping under the stars, hiking through canyons, paddling through swamps, or lounging on the shores of a sandy lake. Visitors looking to park, instead of island hopping this year, can save even more by purchasing the new Combo Pass. The Combo Pass will allow park visitors access to 64 Georgia state parks and historic sites at no additional cost. Check out ten memorable spring break escapes that won’t break the tank below!
New Travel Tracking Passport
Explorers on a mission to visit all of Georgia’s state parks and historic sites have a new way to track their whereabouts. This souvenir passport allows guests to document their trip while exploring the state from the mountains to the swamps. Produced by the Friends of Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites, the passport is available for $12.99 at park gift shops. GaStateParks.org/Retail
Camping Under the Stars – Pack the tent and build treasured memories while roasting gooey s’mores. The campsite invites the whole family to enjoy the simple pleasures of swapping stories while gazing at the stars. All campgrounds have water and electricity hookups, as well as hot showers. Many offer sewer hookups for RVs. GaStateParks.org/Camping
Glamping Yurts – For a unique and affordable getaway, book a more glamorous camping experience in a yurt. These funky wooden and canvas structures are a cross between a tent and a cabin, with furniture inside and fire rings outside. You can even walk to the nearby hot showers. Yurts are available at Cloudland Canyon, High Falls, Fort Yargo, Sweetwater Creek, and Tugaloo State Parks. Plans are underway to add a yurt village to Red Top Mountain this year. GaStateParks.org/UniqueAccommodations
Cozy Cabins – For an affordable and comfortable stay, book a cabin or cottage surrounded by beautiful scenery. These come with fully equipped kitchens, screened porches, and a wide range of activities right outside the door. Bring your four-legged family members along when you pre-book a dog-friendly cabin. At Georgia State Parks cabins, the price you are offered includes everything, so no additional cleaning fees will be required, making your stay even more affordable. GaStateParks.org/Cottages
Ranger Programs – Book a unique and affordable experience for the whole family with Georgia State Parks’ variety of Ranger programs. From full moon hikes, guided kayak tours, campfires, archery lessons, wildlife encounters and colonial re-enactments, treasure hunts and sunset cruises, there are many interactive experiences that will satisfy guests of all interests, ages and skill levels.
Become a Junior Ranger – Kids will have fun learning outdoors while working to earn 59 site-specific Junior Ranger badges. Through activity books or ranger-led camps, they’ll experience nature first-hand and explore Georgia’s fascinating history. GaStateParks.org/EducationalResources
Hit the Trail – Hike Georgia’s many unique hiking trails with your kids to experience the wonders of nature through their eyes. Georgia’s state parks offer a variety of hiking and biking trails, from easy paved loops to challenging backcountry trails. Families will also experience Georgia’s diverse landscape, with canyons and waterfalls, salt marshes and streams. Energetic explorers can join the Canyon Climbers Club or the Muddy Spokes Club while wearing a members-only t-shirt. Learn more at GaStateParks.org/ParkActivities and GaStateParks.org/ParkClubs.
Go Fishing – Grab your rod and reel and head out for a day of fishing in parks like High Falls or Seminole. There is no charge to cast a line, but a license is required for those 16 and older. For families who want to take their adventure up a notch, many state parks rent boats by the hour. GaStateParks.org/ParkFishing
Travel back in time – Mix fun and education as you step back in time at historic sites in the state of Georgia. Kids can explore colonial times at Fort Morris and Fort King George, or Civil War bunkers at Fort McAllister. To learn more about Native American history, visit Kolomoki Mounds, New Echota, Chief Vann House, and Etowah Indian Mounds. Other historic sites are listed at GaStateParks.org/History.
Go Paddling – Explore Georgia’s waterways through a variety of paddling adventures. Canoes, kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, and aquacycles can be rented or visitors can bring their own boats. Many parks offer guided tours, including Stephen C. Foster’s tour of the mysterious Okefenokee Swamp. For a challenge, join the Park Paddlers Club which takes explorers through six national park waterways while wearing a members-only t-shirt. GaStateParks.org/Paddling